Newly-arrived immigrants and individuals with limited English proficiency can receive assistance on using Library resources and improving their English language skills through several new initiatives at The Indianapolis Public Library.
As part of a two-year, $192,200 grant from The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund's Innovation Fund, IndyPL is partnering with the Immigrant Welcome Center in Indianapolis to have the Center's Natural Helpers assist individuals with Library card applications and connect them with other Library resources. Known as the Immigrant Welcome Center Neighborhood Branch, this free assistance is available for Spanish-speaking patrons on Tuesdays from 5 — 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. — 2 p.m. at the East Washington Branch, 2822 E. Washington Street. Assistance for speakers of Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi is provided on Saturdays from 11 a.m. — 2 p.m. at the Pike Branch, 6525 Zionsville Road, where assistance for French speakers is offered on Thursdays from 2:30 — 5:30 p.m.
Another part of the Indianapolis Foundation grant will provide for the addition of over 5,000 new books to the Library's world language collection, launch a new eBook platform for Spanish language books and help translate Library promotional materials into more languages.
A separate project allows individuals of all languages to improve their English speaking skills in a comfortable, welcoming environment. IndyPL's free "English Conversation Circles" are hosted by trained English as a Second Language tutors and are presented on Mondays at 6 p.m. at the Nora Branch, 8625 Guilford Avenue; Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Haughville Branch, 2121 W. Michigan Street; Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Pike Branch, 6525 Zionsville Road; and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Southport Branch, 2630 E. Stop 11 Road.
IndyPL also has created a special web page, "Global City, Global Library," to give individuals access to videos explaining how to use the Library. The videos, made possible by The Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, are available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Amharic, Burmese, Hakha Chin, Karen and Hindi. Content includes a welcome to IndyPL as well as information on getting a Library card and rules and responsibilities for using the Library. The website also provides a link to the Library's listing of free multicultural programs and hours and locations of Library branches.